Unlawful or false imprisonment in New York involves detaining or holding another person against their will without legal authorization. False imprisonment happens when a person keeps another person from leaving a vehicle, house, building, or some other area. There are two types of false imprisonment in New York, first-degree and second-degree. False imprisonment in the second degree is holding a person against their will and preventing them from leaving. If the offender uses methods of restraint that result in the risk of injury or serious physical injury, the crime constitutes a charge of false imprisonment in the first-degree. The term “restrain” means to restrict the movements of another person intentionally. However, the victim does not necessarily have to be physically bound for the crime to be considered false or unlawful imprisonment. If found guilty of first-degree false imprisonment, the accused could get up to four years in prison.
The crime of false imprisonment is not always easy to prove. You will need the assistance of an attorneyto help defend your case in court. To win a civil case for false imprisonment, the following things must be shown:
● There had to be willful detention
● The detention must have been unlawful
● The detention must have been without consent
● Physical force is not always present
There are many forms of intimidation, and generally, victims choose to comply with their attackers rather than risk injury or death. The person detaining the victim may or may not use physical force. If the attacker uses the threat of violence against the victim or their family, they may follow orders out of fear. This type of intimidation is illegal and equal to physical restraint.
Another method the attacker may use is their position of authority. If the person is an employer, manager, officer, clergyman, teacher, or another person of authority, they can use that as intimidation to detain a person against their will.
Examples of unlawful or false imprisonment may include the following:
● A shopkeeper or security person holding someone for a long period, based on how they look.
● Holding something of value to the victim to keep them from leaving.
● An employer who holds someone for questioning for an unreasonable amount of time.
● A person in control of caregiving, drugging the patient to detain them.
● Physically grabbing or holding onto the person of another as a means of detaining them.
Examples of things that do not constitute false imprisonment:
● A person grabbing another person, but the victim can get away from them. For example, the offender grabs your arm, but you can pull it away.
● A person closes the door and asks you not to leave, but you still know you can open the door and leave at any time.
● A shopkeeper or security person who holds you for a reasonable amount of time for questioning, when they witnessed you breaking the law.
In almost all cases it comes down to whether the victim gave consent to be detained or if the detainer was within their legal rights to hold them and for the time that they did. If you are facing charges for unlawful or false imprisonment in New York, you need an attorney.